by Liz Miller
St. Louis branding and marketing agency Atomicdust is featured in the April 2013 issue of visual-arts magazine Communication Arts for its branding and design work for acclaimed chef Gerard Craft's new restaurant Pastaria (7734 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-862-6603). Communications Arts is the largest trade journal of visual communications in the world, published six times each year.
We called Mike Spakowski, creative director of Atomicdust, and Katie Werges, senior designer at Atomicdust, to learn more about the company's work for Pastaria and its recognition from Communications Arts.
Spakowski says Atomicdust has previously been featured on the magazine's website, but the April 2013 issue marks its first time making it to the print edition. Last year, in an effort to share new projects with a wider audience, Atomicdust submitted four of its recent projects to various design blogs, one of them Communication Arts. In November the team at Atomicdust learned that its work for Pastaria would be featured in the publication's April 2013 issue.
Werges says the process with Pastaria was a team effort with Craft from the beginning, with designers from Atomicdust visiting the restaurant space well before it finished construction. Craft saw Pastaria as a more casual concept than his other St. Louis restaurants Niche, Taste and Brasserie by Niche. Keeping this in mind, Atomicdust created playful, modern branding with bright pops of orange color restrained by simple, accessible design.
"When Gerard came to us, he really wanted to create a new restaurant that was very family-friendly and maybe more casual than his other restaurants," says Werges. "We were really excited and had a great time coming up with the branding and had fun with the illustrations, branding and everything that went with it. It was a team effort; Gerard was really involved.
"To see all our hard work in Communication Arts is really cool -- I have a collection of all these magazines that I've gotten through college and after, and it's crazy to think our work made it into a magazine I've been reading for a really long time."
For Spakowski, the honor is made all the more special because it highlights a St. Louis restaurant, sharing it and Atomicdust's work for it with Communication Arts readers across the world.
"A lot of the clients we have are on the East or West coast, so it's really great to work with St. Louis brands," he says. "It really shows not only design work but cool things coming out of St. Louis and the Midwest. When we get opportunities to work with brands like Pastaria, we like to push it as far as we can to gain exposure not only for ourselves, but for the city we live in."
Earlier this year RFT named Atomicdust's Face Off Against Hunger Campaign "Best Use of Social Media for a Civic Campaign" and Pastaria's website "Best Restaurant Website" in the 2013 Web Awards.